China plans to mourn virus 'martyrs', as Wuhan official urges vigilance

Cheryl Sanders
April 4, 2020

There might not be radical shifts in US-China policy during the next several months, but China's cover-up and disinformation campaign will colour the relationship going forward, according to Dan Blumenthal, director of Asian studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

Anticipating a backlash over calls to hold China accountable for initially covering up the outbreak, China's official Xinhua News Agency last month suggested that Beijing could retaliate against the USA by banning the export of medical products that would leave America stuck in the "ocean of viruses".

American officials cautioned that even with their own sourcing, numerous intelligence agencies' warnings to the White House since the beginning of the outbreak have hewed relatively closely to reports from journalists, who have been aggressively reporting on the coronavirus outbreak in China and the Chinese government's efforts to suppress reporting about its spread.

Commemorations took place at 10 all major cities, but were particularly poignant in Wuhan, the industrial centre where the virus was first detected in December.

The overall confirmed cases on the mainland had reached 81,620 by Thursday, including 1,727 patients who were still being treated, 76,571 patients who had been discharged after recovery, and 3,322 people who died of the disease.

"If we started responding forcibly, properly, tracked down the cases and snuffed them out, it didn't have to spread", Mr Yip said. And I'm being nice when I say that, relative to what we witnessed and what was reported. "Not so much the numbers as what they did and how they're doing". "I am not an accountant from China".

US National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien told reporters on Wednesday that there was no way to confirm the Chinese figures. Two of the officials said the report concludes that China's numbers are fake.

"The numbers seem to be a little bit on the light side - and I am being nice when I say that - relative to what we witnessed and what was reported", the USA president said at a daily briefing on Wednesday, referring to China's officially reported figures.

"These comments by those US politicians are just shameless and morally repulsive", she reportedly said.

Part of the reason is that people with mild cases or asymptomatic cases likely have lower amounts of virus in their systems that they could shed, co-author Sen Pei, an associate research scientist at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "This is just immoral and inhuman-and will be denounced by people all around the world".

China will hold a national mourning Saturday for martyrs who died in the fight against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and compatriots died of the disease, according to the State Council. That compares with more than 189,000 cases and more than 4,000 deaths in the US, which has the largest publicly reported outbreak in the world.

The commission also reported four more deaths, all in hardest-hit Hubei Province, taking the total number of fatalities on the mainland to 3,322.

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